Happy New Year – when is the 12th Night?!

Happy New year with background of empty plates and glassesAnother year has flown by and with it the glorious end of the year that is Christmas with all of its finery and celebrations. now it it onwards towards summer and we’ve been busy taking your reservations for late winter and spring breaks over the last couple of days. The question of the when to take the Christmas decorations down  is coming nearer to the surface now as the twelfth night approaches and so I’ve done a little research into the matter and I found  that it can vary between the 5th and 6th of January depending upon whether  you start counting on Christmas day or the day after times two to the power of religion persuasion and interpretation –  incidentally in Russia Christmas day falls on the 7th of January – imagine starting all that Christmas pudding agian but Happy Christmas to our Russian readers!!

Christmas wreath decorating the entrance gate


Take your decorations down Midnight on the 5th of January

The best time is before the festival of Epiphany on January the 6th  and it seemed a better fate for the sad discarded Christmas tree that has brightened our home over these few weeks particularly as we live in Cornwall surrounded with the traces of the older communities and ancient places

Wood spirits and Christmas Trees

I loved the idea that  I read in one article, that just as in former times the Pagan and Christian festivals were politically combined to reach a consensus on festival dates so the wood spirits in the evergreens and Christmas trees that decorate the house should be returned to the forest to bring green bounty back to the earth for another year.

If you’re too late claim a Nineteenth century tradition!

I can’t find any silver lining about the task of packing the boxes of Christmas decorations ready to be stored away for another year in the attic though. If you should miss the deadline – and looking at the number of discarded Christmas trees already lining Cottage gardens locally, I think it’s unlikely – it used to be perfectly OK to keep them up until February the 2nd as in the 19th century. Mmm of course there is the caveat that if a decoration is left out it has to stay all year to avoid bad luck – you have been warned.

Some Christmas memories of our Christmas short breaks

Our visit to Mousehole Lights

Mousehole harbour with Christmas lights until the 12th nightEach evening as we walk up to the stables I glance out across Mounts Bay to the lights of Mousehole lining the harbour and the hillside that send glittering tendrils of light towards us and finally decide this would be the year we would actually visit them ourselves. I wish I could share a great personal insight for the evening but alas we failed.

We started out well before dusk and passed the full parking spots along the road that follows the sea into Mousehole until we finally reached the first car park. Alas the Land Rover was too tall to fit under the gantries that guard the entrance there, so we wound our way down to the harbour car park, with little hope of course, to find it was full.

Mousehole harbour lights

The harbour had an almost tangible sense of excitement about it and was already lined with families grasping children hands as they skipped like out of control ponies, as we arrived. The retreating sea still carried the magical glow of the lights across the water and children were quietly exploring the sands of the harbour as the tide retreated. So I pushed Charles out to take some pictures while I laboriously turned the Land-Rover-of-little-lock around and we chugged back up the steep village street.

Still the drive home around the bay was lovely though, with the lights glistening on the harbours and the boats nodding gently at their moorings – so maybe next year! If you are planning a post Christmas holiday in Cornwall you still have time to see them until the 4th of January – perhaps it would be best to take the bus from Penzance or Newlyn though!

The twelfth night spent in Mousehole

We enjoyed the last moments of the Christmas Lights of Mousehole on the twelfth night – read about our visit here


Take a Winter Break to make the winter shorter?

We’re offering free nights B&B throughout January with any reservation of two days or more. Come and recover from Christmas!



About Christine Taylor

Christine has written a weekly blog about life at Ednovean Farm and interesting places to visit in West Cornwall for over ten years now, concentrating on those off the beaten track places that only the locals find. Charles and Christine Taylor have hosted Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Ednovean Farm Nr Penzance in West Cornwall since 1991 and live there with three cats and five horses, including a Spanish Stallion called Danni. Ednovean Farm has been awarded AA five star gold for Bed and breakfast and is included in The Michelin Guide and The Alastair Sawday Guide . The Farmhouse and gardens has been featured in BBC Homes and Antiques, Homes and Gardens. Period Living and 25 Beautiful Homes as well as being used as a film and photo shoot location.

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